Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'submissions'

Iain Farrell

Birds in flight by Noombox

For another cycle a selection of images has been put forward for inclusion in Ubuntu. As there have been some questions on other blogs about the process I thought it was worth doing a quick refresher. Each release we ask the community contributors whose images were included in the last release if they’d like to help choose the images that should go into the up coming release. This release we are endebted to the following Flickr users and community members:

  • madeinkobaia
  • SirPecanGum
  • bolorino
  • Deacon MacMillan
  • Noah Bertilson
  • Micheo
  • Fix Peña
  • Fejes Ádám
  • federica_miglio
  • Difusa
  • Hugo.Cliff
  • Mohamed Malik
  • Dh0r
  • paco • espinoza
  • pr09studio
  • Belhor_
  • Emilio Merlino
  • erin_estes
  • j_baer
  • fernando garcía redondo
  • followtheseinstructions
They and I carefully went through the thousands of images and we thank them for their effort and care. Once some images are shortlisted the creators are invited to add them to a shortlist group and supply us with high resolution images (minimum 2550 x 1660) and make sure the licence they use is CC by SA.
The deadline for the wallpapers is the beta freeze and at this point the shortlisted images we’ve received are attached to the appropriate bug in Launchpad. We almost always have more images to put on the CD than will make it in but we always make sure that all the chosen images we receive from contributors are included in bug for inclusion in the distro, if some don’t make it at least everyone has access to these images.
As with all processes it’s about refinement over time so while this process went well and we’ve got some really great images, what can we do next time to make it better?
Firstly we’ll be looking at limiting entries, many people submitted way more images than is sensible. We have a very detailed photo diary of someone’s holiday, for example, and that’s not what choosing wallpapers is all about. We will also look to bring the deadline for entries forward to allow for more time to gather files. One of the reasons that the number of illustrated wallpapers we invited to be in the final shortlist haven’t made it is because at time of writing we don’t have high resolution files from them. Rest assured that if they do appear in the remaining time before release I’ll work to cajole cuddle and squeeze any additional great images in but it looks like in this case a week wasn’t long enough. This may in part be due to the fact that the contributors we get here are often new to the project and not always aware of the delivery mechanisms used and aware of how important deadlines are. We’ll allocate more time next release for collation and review so we can help educate people on what the development schedule, Creative Commons licensing and the like are all about. Members of the team who helped this time around have said they’d be happy to help moderate and educate during the next release so we should also have more hands to help with the process which is splendid!
Having read comments on some other blogs and news sites I’d also like to end on a very important point. Every six months we contribute in a small way to Ubuntu with this submissions process. Community members from all over the world provide a number of new images which if users choose, they can have as the wallpaper on their desktop. People take photos, draw illustrations and tinker to create images specifically for this project and it is unfair to them and the team who review the images to simply post comments saying that the images are poor and not what you’d have chosen. Wallpapers are an optional component. They’re a small part of the whole and a team of willing community volunteers, myself included, select what we hope people will like and what we hope is a bit different to last time to keep things fresh and interesting. If you don’t see something you’d have chosen, that’s ok, you can choose your own image(s) and even post yours in time for the next release. Get involved!
So to all of you reading on this Friday afternoon, if you like the work of someone whose image was chosen or included in the submissions process, tell them about it. Blog it, show it to your friends, tweet it, send it to friends who don’t even use Ubuntu who might like it. Let’s celebrate the creation of free content and celebrate Ubuntu. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

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Calum Pringle

First of all, thank you all for your feedback in both the blog post and, most importantly, the survey. Over 2000 surveys were completed, which is amazing.

We are really quite overwhelmed with the encouraging feedback received at this stage, so I thought it worth sharing some of the highlights.


It almost spells out U-bun-tu.

It’s unique and modern, but has a feeling of community within it.

Its pleasant that it reflects the working of OS, smoother more user friendly

An idea of a future, dynamism and creativity

It has a “rich” quality that has generally been part of the Ubuntu soundscape.

It is unobtrusive and feels like it fits the old “humanity” as well as the new “light” theme.

It’s distinctive, playful, lively and yet restrained, soothing and modest.

This is great. What is even better is the quantity of constructive criticism that means we can start to iterate further samples and get closer to the sound.

The vote

It was very close, but the winner was sound number one. For reference, this chart shows the closeness of the averages from the scaled questions in the survey.

Remember however there were open ended questions too, so with this result and the positive feedback from the free form text questions, sound one became a clear winner.

As the results were close (as you can see particularly between numbers one and two) we will feed that back to our chosen sound designer to influence their next development.

Thanks for all your feedback!

For the next stage we intend to

  • make it more human, less synthesised
  • increase the warmth of tone
  • tighten the end note
  • lower the pitch
  • land the sound for 12.04!

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Calum Pringle

Thank you everyone for all your effort, overall it’s an impressive set from such a short deadline!

Listening to submissions for sound theme project

We’ve been busy listening to all your submissions, it’s been a challenge, but the sound samples have been whittled down to a shortlist (of startup sounds only, for now) that we feel meet the pitch brief (or are close to meeting it) and we’d like to hear your opinions.

Since last time…

With a tight deadline (let’s get this in for 12.04!) we played the submissions, both startup and notification, to a select group of participants who were asked to record feedback on a structured form. Firstly we discussed the brief that was set and what we were looking to achieve; participants then rated the submissions using a simple likert scale, measuring agreement with statements such as “Does this feel like Ubuntu”.

We now need your help to decide and critique the shortlisted sounds. Remember these are not final, so we want to know which you see the most potential for developing our sound theme.

We’d like you to use this survey for submitting your opinions of the shortlisted sounds below.

The Shortlist : Startup Sound

Please use the fields provided in the form for critiquing what and where improvements could be made; e.g. change of pitch, addition of notes, audio mastering, change of instrument; we need to remember this is a starting point, so the more feedback we receive, the better informed the rebrief.





We are looking forward to working with the finalist to develop the Ubuntu soundscape from this starting point; so your feedback is important!

Please get your friends and family to have a listen and let us know what they think too – the more the merrier, we will do the same :)

Next steps : we hope to choose one finalist whose sound can mature through further iterations, and tune it to fit with the login experience for the 12.04 release.

Those of you who don’t see your sound up here (and remember we are keeping it anonymous so don’t tell anyone if yours is there!) thanks again for your efforts, we hope to involve everyone in the decision making process for the theme as it progresses, so there will be plenty more opportunity to have your opinion heard!

Link to survey

Update : Survey Full!!! Over 2000 responses – wow! New blog post to follow :)  

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Calum Pringle

If you’re as keen as we are that the Ubuntu sound theme is on brand, now is your chance! We are calling for pitches for the Ubuntu sound theme!

The brief

As Ubuntu expands onto new form factors, with an increasingly definitive visual identity and brand, it is important to ensure that the theme of Ubuntu is reflected in all aspects of the experience. The auditory experience of Ubuntu must be included in this theme to maintain an immersive environment and consistency with the brand.

These values are a key component of our brand and should form the basis for the sound theme.

  • Reliable
  • Collaborative
  • Freedom
  • Precise

Our brand values :


To define an Ubuntu soundscape that compliments look, feel and brand and produce a library of assets required for implementation. Provide a guideline for the Ubuntu soundscape that will allow for extension by internal and external stakeholders.

Project requirements

The concept for the sound theme should reflect the requirements of all form factors. Concepts should therefore be explored through signature moments in the Ubuntu soundscape; with an opportunity to refine a desktop startup sound for the 12.04 release. The emergent sound theme should then be articulated and guidelined.

The first stage of this project is the pitch – the deadline is Monday the 13th of February.

The pitch

Login screen

One desktop startup sound

  • This will be heard when the login screen (shown above) is ready for user interaction.
  • The device is coming alive, awakening.

One notification

  • This gives us a feel for how these sounds fit in a theme.
  • An example notification would be a calendar event.

Participants can submit as many sample sounds as they like, however the minimum requirement is one of each.

Feedback will be given by Wednesday 15th February, and we will work with the successful participant to refine the startup sound for the 12.04 release and continue to work with them on the development of the Ubuntu soundscape.

This is an open pitch, and we encourage everyone to participate; including, hopefully, some of you sound professionals out there!

Submissions should be sent to the Unity project manager Nick Tait subject “Sound Theme” in a folder entitled “”

For reference, the ideal length of the startup should be around 2 – 4 seconds, ogg format, 320kbps.

Some helpful links…

Design guidelines :
The Ubuntu tour :
Brand values :


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Iain Farrell

Not that long ago Matt Jones of BERG fame came up with a really lovely idea! In response to the keep calm and carry on posters from the Second World War that had become so popular again he decided that a more positive statement was needed!

“It occurred to me that this was exactly the wrong sentiment for this age …

I started sketching on the paper a contrary statement, where stiff upper lip was replaced by a stiff upper arm from soldering…”

The Get Excited and Make Things poster was born.

Get excited and make things - By Matt Jones

With this in mind I’d like to open up the wallpaper submissions process for the next release of Ubuntu, Oneiric Ocelot! The Flickr group for submissions is now open and can be found at and just like last time we’re accepting both photos and rendered/ illustrated wallpapers.

For guidance on what formats are best to submit can I suggest you look at the excellent wiki page on the subject which can be found on the Ubuntu wiki at –

We recommend a minimum resolution of 2560 x 1600 and templates for GIMP can be found on the wiki page.

In order for us to make the UI freeze we need just over a week to review and shortlist entries so we will be closing the group for entries on the 11th August at 12pm UK time. From there as with previous cycles the contributors whose images were selected last time will be invited to select a shortlist that will make it into Ubuntu 11.10.

So what are you waiting for?! Get excited and make things!! I am! :)

Get snapping! By Gaetan Lee

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Iain Farrell

That’s what we want the Ubuntu desktops in Natty to feel like. We’re changing things a little bit for the coming release too. We’ll still feature some fantastic photography sourced from our Flickr group but this time we’re reserving at least 3 places for non photographic wallpapers, so things that are rendered or drawn.

Maverick wallpapers

The wallpapers from the last cycle were one of the finest collections we’ve ever had and we’re excited to see what you’ve all got to share with us in 2011. If you’ve got an amazing photo you’d like to submit simply head over to the Ubuntu Artwork group on Flickr, join up and add your photo(s) to the group. Please tag anything you’d like us to consider with the tag NattyWallpaper so that we know to look at it when judging comes around.

If you have a rendering or drawing you’d like to submit we have a new site set up for handling submissions. It can be found at As with the Flickr group images should be tagged NattyWallpaper so we can review them more easily.

For guidance on what formats are best to submit can I suggest you look at the excellent wiki page on the subject which can be found on the Ubuntu wiki at –

We recommend a minimum resolution of 2560 x 1600 and templates for GIMP can be found on the wiki page.

Lastly we have to have selections made and a package accepted into the distro in time for the UI Freeze on the 24th March so we’ll stop accepting entries after 13th March 2011 so get snapping, sketching and thinking and we’ll look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

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